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FPComplete: the School of Haskell

A cool site I recently ran into is https://www.fpcomplete.com/school, which aims to teach you functional programming using Haskell. I’ve been toying with Haskell on and off for the last couple of years but haven’t really gotten further than that. Perhaps by going through some of the articles on FPComplete I can get my Haskell skill to the next level!

Progress on programming languages to learn in 2011

A while ago I posted about Programming languages to learn in 2011. Now that we’re almost halfway into 2011 I though I do a little reflection of what languages I’ve learned so far… None!

Although none isn’t exactly correct, I can’t say I have learned enough of any of the listed languages to program with. So far all I’ve really done is reading the amazing book Learn You a Haskell for Great Good. So far I’m halfway through the book and I actually did some of the examples and am able to figure out what most of the syntax means. But not more than that.

Not exactly what I had in mind but still it’s better than nothing. I’ll be able to catchup soon though as I’m still only working full-time for 6 more weeks. After that I’ll have 2 months off (I’ll still have to do work from home, but will have a lot more free time on my hands) so that should be plenty of time to learn some new stuff!

Since almost 6 months has passed now, why is it that I haven’t done more yet? Well, there’s still the issues I have with my hands, although the last couple of 5 weeks or so this is getting much more better. I’m still trying to get my Vitamin D level up and am also getting Vitamin B12 injections. On top of that I’m still visiting the Acupuncturist every month or so.

In these weeks that I’ve finally been able to get some stuff done I focused on getting the Maximus website up and running and make it feature complete. All required functionality is in there now and it actually already hosts quite a lot of modules. Out of my head over 250. There’s still more work to be done for the final 1.0.0 release but it’s mostly refactoring, writing test cases and the occasional bug fixing.

So no, I haven’t been able to study the listed programming languages, but I have been able to do some more Perl and get Maximus in a state where it’s usable. In the coming months I do plan to focus on Haskell and C# though, as well as refreshing my Math skills. So all in all I’m pleased with my progress so far.

Programming languages to learn in 2011

As can be seen on my bucket list I’ve got quite a few programming languages I want and need to learn this year. Some pure out of interest. Some because I have to.


First on the list is Lua. A nice lightweight programming language that’s perfect for embedding in other software applications to provide scripting functionality. In the last 2 years I’ve only touched the surface of the language so far. I upgraded the pub.lua BlitzMax module to use Lua 5.1.4 and so far have experimented with scripting some game prototypes. As well as some pure Lua stuff such as an IRC bot and a website scraper.

I also own a copy and have read the book Programming in Lua as well. But I still need to do some proper coding with this amazing language before I consider that I’ve mastered Lua.


Not that I aspire a career as a .NET programmer but Visual C# is probably the easiest way to program visual Windows desktop applications. Aside from that it’s quite big in the industry. It certainly is in the Netherlands. The XNA framework also makes it very interesting to have a go with it as I still want to do some game programming. And although I mainly got BlitzMax for that it’s a good thing to try something else as well.

The language also has some interesting features such as LINQ. I also consider it a proper language now that is has support for lambda’s. Finally it’s a language I have to learn for future needs and to get a head start on something big for me. Which is something I’ll announce soon on my blog.


Third on the list but first to learn is Haskell. Haskell is an advanced purely-functional programming language and that’s exactly what I want to learn: a purely-functional programming language. In the years I’ve been on and off reading Perlmonks I keep coming across the advice to learn a functional programming language. Aside from Perlmonks this also seems to come up quite often in replies on StackOverflow. The people telling it’s a good thing to learn a functional programming language say it helps you in how you think about problems and solving them. Even if you never intend to use the language ever again. This is advice coming from programmers that are in the business for over 15-20+ years so I suppose it should hold some value.

The reason they give is exactly the reason I want to learn Haskell. Even if I never use it again after learning the language and have written some projects.


I hate Java. I really really really hate Java. It’s an abomination. I have never ever stumbled upon a Java application that isn’t slow as a turd. It’s a language I must learn as well though, for the same reason I need to learn C#. Difference with C# is that I think the language is at least a bit fun and I want to learn it. What makes me wonder the most though is why I need to learn Java as to me C# can do everything Java can as well, only faster. And with better tools.

Have you ever tried Eclipse? It makes me want to kill myself. Never ever shall I touch that dragon again.

I guess I’ll get that answer by the end of 2011.